5 Best Practices to Follow in Preparing for a Business Trip
Preparing for a business trip should be undertaken methodically in order to ensure that nothing is omitted. Each trip is unique, although there are certain standards that enable a textbook organisation to be put in place, which can then be followed for all your company’s trips. So, here are the five good practices that should be adopted when preparing for a business trip.
1. Establishing the requirements for preparing a business trip properly
Before throwing yourself into preparing a business trip for one of your co-workers, you should establish what the requirements of the trip are. Of course, the dates of travel are important, but think more along the lines of the agenda or objective of the trip; are there any scheduled appointments and meetings taking place? These will occur according to a precise timetable: date, hour, location, duration, and so on, providing an agenda you can plan your co-worker's trip around.
2. Putting in place a schedule
Once you have identified the requirements you can set up a schedule which will help plan your event chronologically. This will aid you when viewing and prioritising the various tasks to be carried out, and is also a great time management skill!
To set up your schedule, you will need to know the exact dates, destinations and duration of the business trip. To achieve this, you should remain in regular contact with your co-worker in order to avoid any last-minute changes.
Your schedule should contain the following information:
- The documents to prepare (administrative and professional)
- The list of people that your co-worker is due to meet and their contact details
- The various bookings that need to be made: transport, hotel, car hire, shuttles, taxis, and so on.
- A window in which to confirm all appointments prior to your co-worker’s departure.
3. Carry out the tasks in order of priority
Once the schedule has been set up, you will have an exact idea of the tasks that need to be carried out and in what order of priority. Start to take care of the bookings: plane ticket, hotel, car hire, taxis, shuttles, and so on. Remember, reservations may need to be made early depending on the time of the year or the event itself. We recommend briefly researching if there's any national holidays occurring at your desired location during your travel dates, as this could cause travel disruption or fully booked accommodation.
Secondly, prepare files for your co-worker’s meetings. This means all the documents and tools needed to ensure that interviews run smoothly: presentation files, models, business cards, etc. If your co-worker is meeting foreign partners, these should be translated in order to facilitate communication. Consider storing the documents on a shared space, such as the Cloud, so that they can be accessed anywhere.
Don’t forget to deal with the administrative formalities,such as visas. Carefully check that the ID documents are valid and whether any vaccinations will be required. At the same time, draw up a memo with the numbers to call in the event of an emergency such as embassy and emergency assistance numbers. Lastly, provide a means of international payment, such as a payment card, to make it easier for your co-worker to pay for their business expenses.
Ensure your co-workers have a comfortable and relaxing business trip by reading our 5 tips.
4. Plan for your co-worker’s absence
Depending on how long your co-worker will be away for, you should probably plan how to manage their absence. Ensure that they bring you up to date on their current files and see whether some should be looked after by one of their colleagues. Also, ask them what procedure should be followed in the event of an emergency, and in particular, don’t forget to keep their diary up to date by cancelling or postponing meetings and appointments.
5. Carry out final checks before the co-worker’s departure.
Prior to your co-worker’s departure, carry out a few checks - you don't want sleepless nights wondering if you booked airport transfers. Ensure that meetings are still going ahead, that all the documents are ready and that all bookings are confirmed.
To enable your co-worker to view their business trip at a glance, you could provide them with a summary listing all the appointments, for example: their contacts’ names and details, the flight details, and hotel reservation number. Keep a copy so you can easily get in touch with your co-worker if need be.
As you can see, organisation and method are key for preparing a business trip properly. By following these five practices, you can be sure that you'll be able to plan each business trip efficiently.
Don’t miss a step when next arranging business travel for your colleagues by downloading our handy booking checklist now.